Fuit Jesus

Here is some entertaining discussion from Fox News about the upcoming James Cameron documentary about the ossuary of Jesus and company. On the lighter side, perhaps this variation on an old joke should put the issue of Jesus’s bones in perspective:

>A Greek Orthodox, and Evangelical, and a Jesuit are doing an archeological dig in Jerusalem. They come across a Tomb that says, in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, “Here lies Jesus of Nazareth, who claimed he was King of the Jews, and was executed at Passover under Pontius Pilate”.

>Excited by the find, they open the tomb, only to be horrified to find a crucified body.

>”Oh my goodness,” says the Orthodox. “The Church and all the good it does is based on a false event.”

>”Oh my goodness,” says the Evangelical. “The Bible, which has guided by entire life, is nothing but a lie.”

>”Oh my goodness,” says the Jesuit. “There really was a Jesus.”

In the variation I heard, it was a Dominican, a Franciscan and a Jesuit; the Franciscan wanted to worship the bones.

5 thoughts on “Fuit Jesus”

  1. Keep your eyes open. I predict that you are going to get some good material coming your way in terms of arguments depending on double standards.

    I think it would be a good opportunity to talk about the importance of evidence and presumptive reasoning. Maybe even a little discussion about ‘negative evidence’?

    For Jesus to be such an important figure in history, there certainly is a dearth of evidence regarding him, for which I would argue is a surprising oversight for someone presumably omniscient . If Cameron presses this in the right way, I think he could really get a fire going.

    I read an article about this but I can’t figure out how the DNA could be relevant to Jesus unless they have something to compare it to, and I doubt that they do.

  2. cameron’s problem (aside from being a self-aggrandizing opportunist) is that he’s hitched his wagon to a less than reputable archaelogist. moreover, the names jesus, mary, james, and joseph were hardly rare in jerusalem. this is just another example of gnostic gospel meme we’re subjected to every 5-6 years. some archaeologist presses a hypothesis further than the evidence would warrant, a movie gets made, history gets ignored, and everyone pretends something “new” has come to light. several of these ossuaries have been found, and this is not the first one to bear the name of jesus, or joseph or mary or james. yet, the apparent dearth of historical evidence for jesus of nazareth remains the wild card here. josephus, as i understand (i’m no historian) does speak of a jesus, but again, it wasn’t an uncommon name as we see here: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/james_still/historical_jesus.html even if we find some historical evidence for jesus, however, i don’t see what it changes. if we prove, historically, that jesus lived, those who believe don’t beleive from faith, but from a trust in the facts of history, in which case their belief is no different than our belief in any other historical figure. if we fail to provide historical proof of jesus’ existence, it does nothing to erode the faith of those who already believe. which brings us to the situation at hand: what happens if we disprove jesus existence? it would certainly be a revolutionary discovery and a monumental effort, but, as lee has pointed out, short of some type of DNA comparison, how do we know it really is the jesus of the bible? we can’t. hell, there are four cathedrals that claim to hold the bones of christopher columbus; six others claim to possess an arm belonging to saint james. these sorts of things are notoriously difficult to prove, for the exact reason lee points out: there are no comaprative exemplars. those that wish to believe, will continue to believe; those that don’t, will continue not to do so. however, this sort of slapdash “science” of the sort to which cameron has directed his attentions should be lent any creedence beyond what we lend to our nightly news. it’s bad science, full of unexamined presuppositions, weighted scales and movie lot sensationalism. there’s plenty more scholarly work being done to examine the facts of jesus’ existence, like at the above website. better to pay attention there than allow a hack like cameron, who played plenty fast and loose with the titanic story, to pretend he was first on the scene.

  3. mea culpa. this:cameron has directed his attentions should be lent any creedence beyond what we lend to our nightly news
    should read:
    should NOT be lent

    dr. casey, the masses cry for a comment preview function!

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